Taking care of an important connection, your feet!

The connection of the dance shoes or boots and the dance floor. These all important items often get completely ignored until we start dancing.

Although shoes and boots made for dancing can make your feet happier many dancers feel just as comfortable in good street shoes. There are several things to look for in a dance shoe or boot. How do you like the fit? Most boots are worn tighter than shoes. Tight boots are ok as long as you have some toe room. Too tight in the toe box and you soon develop sore spots on the toes. Loose shoes are ok if you like your feet to breath but too loose or you wind up with a heel blister. An older shoe can be made to last longer by adding a pair of inner soles. Get a good pair made from cushioned suede.

All dress dance shoes have a glued on suede sole and heel. These can be replaced by a good shoe shop when worn. Most dance boots come with a similar leather sole but not glued on. The boots also have rubber heels unless covered or ordered otherwise. Thankfully the rubber is non-marking. The soles of both should be kept clean and sometimes brushed with a special steel brush. Brush the soles and you slow down. Let them get slick and you slide around. Keep them clean and brush or not depending on how you like the feel. It's a good idea to keep an old pair for when you are dancing on a dirty floor. Some dancers are now wearing dance sneakers. Some like them and others complain about the rubber soles. A good alternative is to get a bowling shoe. They are cheap and can be found in most department stores. Judy found hers at a Super K-Mart. Lots of shaggers wear street shoes. If you have a good pair with leather soles and heels they may work well for you. The Lindy dancers like sneakers with tape on the soles. They may be onto something judging by their dancing.

Many types of hard floors surfaces can used for dancing. To non-dancers one is as good as the other but we know different. To us dancers wood floors are the best and a wood floor that is not directly fastened to concrete is better. Anything else may work but not for long. If you belong to a club that has regular dances try to find out who maintains the floor. Hopefully they take suggestions. A clean, dry floor is much better than a highly waxed one. Some waxed floors can feel like glue was spread out. Some dancers carry a little corn meal, corn starch or baby powder. I have found that shuffleboard wax works better but a little goes a long way. It's VERY slippery. Anything like that added to the floor will clog up the shoes and get tracked everywhere. It's best to not put it down unless everyone is ok with it.

The bottom line is that with a good wood dance floor and well fitting shoes you are free to enjoy the dance rather than worry about your sore feet.

© Two Step Tidewater

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